Top of the World - Single (2019)
Review By Kyle Yampiro
December 17, 2019
Nomadic, emerging from J.D. Frizzell's June project, burst onto the professional a cappella scene with immediate excitement. With its second single, Top of the World, the group deftly explores how to artfully craft a cover.
The arrangement begins by expanding the introduction from Kimbra's original, which is characterized by a text setting that almost sounds more syllabic than lyrical, placing its own stamp by starting with a non-English line of text. The resulting locus of sounds is justified by that foundation, creating an Indian fusion flavor over the entire song with a choice made in just the first eight bars. Arranger Matt Goldstein artfully establishes a strong rhythmic presence and elaborates upon it throughout the breakdown, maintaining an energetic drive to the end.
The lion's share of the credit for this track belongs to soloist Archie Gopal, whose rich vocal timbre is on full display from the first few moments throughout. The simultaneous conveyance of coolness, energy, and raw emotion into a confident swagger that creates an interpretation more visceral than Kimbra's original in both the sung and quasi-spoken passages is no small feat.
There should be no shortage of praise given to the audio production team of Angela Longo, David Longo, and Dave Sperandio for the seamless blend of elements to create what is both pleasant to the ear and teeming with power. The musicality of the group shines through each section and is balanced in a way that supports the solo without being overpowering.
Top of the World should be at the top of any a cappella listener's wish list. Stream it as soon as possible.